I think that we can all agree that the BlackBerry Passport has been generating a lot of media attention. We’ve seen many reviews since it has been launched and I came across one today from Jonathan Kay at the National Post that really stood out.
It’s refreshing to read that instead of writing a review as soon as he received the device, he decided to use it for a month first because he knew it would take several weeks to appreciate both the advantages and disadvantages; understanding that there are time constraints at times to get stories published, most journalists and especially tech journalists should spend enough time to get acquainted with a new device to appreciate its features and functionality. According to Kay,
“It was four weeks ago when I handled the new Blackberry Passport for the first time. (This video, with my colleague Armina Ligaya, captures the moment.) I was tempted to write about the Blackberry-provided review device then and there, because I thought the radically large, chunky design was bold and innovative. But I didn’t — because I sensed that the Passport is so radically different in form from other Smartphones that it would take several weeks to appreciate its advantages and disadvantages. So I stuck my iPhone in a drawer and spent the last month immersed in the Passport lifestyle.”
Kay indicates that he was once a BlackBerry user that switched to the iPhone, missed the physical keyboard and switched back to a Q10, but unfortunately went back to the iPhone given that
“In fact, I briefly switched back to Blackberry in 2013 when the Q10 came out — but I returned to the iPhone after observing that many common tasks on that device were relatively slow, and that the Blackberry OS still had serious drawbacks and glitches compared to iPhone and Android products. (I also had a brief dalliance with the Samsung Note in 2011, but gave up on it, except as a book reader: Its huge size made it big enough to use as a mini-computer, but its suitability for that purpose was squandered by a lack of physical keyboard.)”
However, the device’s processing power and the refinements in BB10 OS 10.3 have changed that opinion
“After a month with the Passport, it’s become clear that the updated Blackberry OS 10.3, combined with the enhanced speed and image-capture capabilities of the Passport’s Qualcomm processor, yield a machine that feels as fast as my iPhone 5 for just about every common smartphone task — including web- and Twitter-surfing on the Passport’s massive, beautifully detailed screen. I did get some lag when I used some of the advanced camera features, but this was compensated for by excellent, sometimes even artistic, photo quality.”
Kay goes on to indicate that the ability to run Android applications directly from the Amazon Appstore cures one of his biggest concerns about coming back to BlackBerry, the app gap. He praises the productivity enhancing size of the Passport and the technological innovations inherent in the new touch enabled keyboard.
This comment, however, couldn’t have summed up his review better:
“As for me, I’m hooked. The iPhone remains in its drawer. The Passport has become my everyday device. As a user who sees a Smartphone as something primarily designed for banging out short-to-medium length email, interacting on social media, taking and sharing family photos, and reading long-form content on the web, it’s the best machine I’ve ever owned.
And it’s great to get my fingers back on those rounded Blackberry buttons, even if only 50% of the population appreciates their true ergonomic beauty.”
Jonathan, thank you for your honesty and for having the foresight to use the device for the appropriate amount of time to be able to give it a fair review.
I encourage you to read his full post here.
Source: Jonathan Kay at The National Post